Sunday, June 9, 2013

NYU Moved Up

NYU called me and moved our appointment with their cochlear implant surgeon from 7/29 to 7/1. I am thrilled!! The doctor is J. Thomas Roland. I can't read much about hearing impairment without his name coming up. The have the premier cochlear implant center on the east coast.

The FDA requires infants to be 12 months old before getting a cochlear implant, unless their deafness is caused by meningitis and then it is 6 months. Meningitis causes the cochlear to harden so time is of the essence to those babies. NYU frequently gets FDA waivers in order to implant babies earlier. I am hoping they will be able to do that for Jack since earlier is best for language acquisition.

I really don't even know if Jack will be a candidate for this surgery. He will have to have an MRI and possibly more testing before we even know if he can get them. I am also hoping they can implant him bilaterally in one surgery, which is relatively new. There is also a possibility my insurance won't even cover them. I called my insurance since there was no one listed on the plan as a cochlear implant surgeon. They told me to go to the appointment and have the surgeon's office call them and they would work something out.  I had a similar situation with my breast reconstruction and they ended up paying for it. A lot of parents have had big fights with their insurance companies because they were considering cochlear implants to be cosmetic. In the end most of them won and their kids had the surgery.

I am reading more and more about this surgery and deafness in general. They usually like to get hearing aids on the babies as soon as possible. They were not able to do the molds for Jack because of the fluid in his ears and they wouldn't do the surgery for the tubes before he was six months old. The hearing aids are not covered by medical insurance, but Early Intervention will pay for them. After Jack's surgery the audiologist told me it would be about six weeks because all the paperwork had to go through. I think that is a really long time and I know Jack finished all the Early Intervention evaluations and I did fill out tons of paper work. I have a meeting with Early Intervention and all the evaluators on Tuesday. Julianna has her kindergarten  screening on Tuesday morning so I made the Early Intervention on the same day in order to cut down on taking days off.

Jack is not likely to hear anything with the hearing aids. They still give them to profoundly deaf babies because it will keep his sensory pathways open. That will help to keep his auditory nerve stimulated and that should help him when he gets his cochlear implants. They are saying that in the best case scenario he might be able to hear a siren with the help of the hearing aids.

Here is an interesting video presentation about cochlear implants. It is done by Dr. J. Thomas Roland who is the doctor I am taking Jack to.

It is a little long, but very informative.

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